Reading skills are critical to success in schooland in life, but not everyone has access to books at home. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), children who are read to at home enjoy a substantial advantage over children who are not.

For the past six years, Hutchison Elementary School employee and Floris United Methodist Church member Marci Hoyt has passionately organized aHutchison book drive to ensure students receive at least two free books to take home for the summer.Marci, who goes through every single book each year to ensure they are age-appropriate says, “The members of Floris have been such a blessing regarding the book drive. We receive more than two thousand books every year, so please keep bringing them! Sometimes students and staff at Fox Mill and Navy Elementary Schools donate books as well.”

Staff at Hutchison Elementary are grateful for the effort put into the drive. Hutchison Reading Specialist Meghan Benjamin is thrilled, saying, “It is wonderful to see the joy on the students’ faces as they get new books to enjoy over the summer.” And Mary Fagerland, Title One Reading Teacher at Hutchison, notes, “Every chance children get to read is valuable. I really appreciate getting books for the kids to read over the summer.” The students are delighted to receive free books as evidenced in the letter below.

June 24, 2014
Dear Floris United Methodist Church,
Thank you for the Angel books! I already started reading one of the books and I really like it. I will be reading that book over and over again. It would be a pleasure if you could donate some books again. Thank you very much.
From Nataly

To donate books:
This year, the drive takes place May 17June 7. If you have books you would like to donate to the Hutchison book drive, you can bring them to the donations bins on the second floor at Floris UMC. If you have a large donation, Marci would be happy to pick them up. For more information, please visit

-Written by Joanne Smeaton

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